A Tale of Three Leadership Failures
Leadership Failure Number One: Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama, on March 16, 2006, while a senator, said (emphasis mine):
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Obama was, at that time, arguing against the policies of George W. Bush, but his words offer insight into his view of current conditions. Any debt he wants to run up is permissible, but debt caused by others is not. Debt that he supports is not a sign of leadership failure. That, of itself, is a leadership failure.
So, in Obama's own words, we have a leadership failure. And it keeps getting worse. The debt ceiling was raised under Reagan seventeen times. Democrats/Progressives/Liberals (DPL) are quick to announce that fact. But they seem to forget that Obama, in four years, increased the debt more than George W. Bush did in eight years. Or that Reagan's increase resulted in a debt increase of $1.6 trillion, an amount that pales in comparison to the debt increase of $6.1 trillion that has come during Obama's presidency.
If raising the debt ceiling is, itself, a sign of leadership failure, then Reagan was a failure. But looking at the debt increases associated with debt ceiling raises paints an entirely different picture. The second-largest contributor (behind only FDR) to the debt dollar-wise has been Obama.
Now, Obama has asked for (and received) an increase of the debt ceiling limit so he can borrow more. Raising the debt limit, in and of itself, does not authorize new spending, but rather allows the federal government to pay for the obligations it has already approved. However, extending the debt ceiling limit has the same effect as raising the debt ceiling.
Have you ever heard of "To designate the air route traffic control center located in Nashua, New Hampshire, as the 'Patricia Clerk Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center'?" No? The House of Representatives passed the bill on February 11, 2014, by a vote of 221-201 and then passed in the Senate. And I'm betting that Dear Leader will sign the bill.
So what? you ask. Well, the aforementioned bill, as innocuous as the name sounds, actually extends the debt limit until March 2015, thereby allowing unrestrained borrowing by Obama and Democrats to continue to fund their giveaway programs unabated.
Leadership Failure Number Two: House Speaker (a leadership position) John Boehner (R-OH) permitted a vote on a debt ceiling increase with no conditions attached. Boehner said, "When you don't have 218 votes, you have nothing." That was, I guess, his excuse for not continuing the fight for debt limit extension conditions. It's interesting to note that others in leadership positions -- representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) -- along with Boehner, voted "yes" to extend the limit. Only House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) voted "no." OK, all you Ohio, Virginia, and California voters, remember this in November.
It seems that Boehner, a RINO if there ever was one, has even given up on trying to secure conditions in order to extend the debt ceiling, and again caved to the demands of Obama and the Democrats. Boehner, in 2011, got a $2-billion spending cut concession from Obama, who has since refused to negotiate. Boehner, as recently as October 2013, said:
We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase. I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit, and the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.
By holding the vote, Boehner ended a three-year Tea Party-inspired era of budget showdowns, and set off a series of reprisals from fellow Republican congressmen and conservative groups that highlights leadership failure -- what the New York Times calls a "deep internal division."
Leadership Failure Number Three: As if what Boehner did wasn't bad enough, when the bill got to the senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) voted for it. More leadership failure. All you conservatives in Kentucky and Texas, don't forget what McConnell and Cornyn did.
How many more leadership failures can the U.S. stand? Peter Schweizer's 2011 book Throw Them All Out focused on how members of Congress (both parties) got (and continue to get) rich. But his sentiment can now be extended to continued leadership failure from both parties. Throw them all out, starting with John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and John Cornyn. New leadership couldn't do any worse. Perhaps a new, non-RINO speaker would even stand up to Obama.
OK, conservatives: remember, in November, how the current leadership, in February, caved in to Obama with not so much as a fight. It's (past) time, via voting, to throw them all out. Even if our efforts result in electing DPLs, we can't be any worse off!
Dr. Warren Beatty (not the liberal actor) earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University. He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making. He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired. Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He blogs at rwno.limewebs.com.